Bug Blog

How Do Spiders Communicate Sexual Attraction? | Spider Exterminator

How Do Spiders Communicate Sexual Attraction? | Spider Exterminator

Have you ever wondered if spiders are capable of falling in love with other spiders? How do spiders show their sexual interest for other spiders? Well, like every other organism on the planet, spiders do not just choose their mates at random. Rather spiders are just as picky as we humans. Although spiders have eyes, most spiders do not possess a particularly sophisticated visual system. So, unlike humans, spiders do not rely on their visual senses to choose a mate nearly as much as they use their sense of touch and sound.

Two researchers from the University of Cincinnati recorded a percussive courtship sound in the wild that came from purring wolf spiders. The recordings allowed researchers to determine that the spiders use leaves to transmit their sounds of love. The researchers believe that these percussive sounds of love could provide science with clues concerning the earliest examples of sound based communication in nature.

In order for the researchers to gather sound data from spider movements, a studio was used, which eliminated all other sources of noise that one would hear in a forest. The researchers used scent cues from the female purring wolf spider in order to ascertain how the males would respond to their pheromones. Of course, the pheromones triggered male spiders to purr. The male spiders are able to produce this unique purring sound by dragging a comb-like organ on the ground, as though these spiders have a built in musical instrument on their bodies. The researchers noticed that females would not respond to the males love-calls unless the males were using a leaf to amplify their sounds. Apparently, the factor that determines whether a male spider will get to mate with a female is a leaf. The leaf allows for the vibrations produced by the males to become more pronounced. The use of the leaf to enhance the males mating-calls makes sense since most spiders are reliant on vibration-detection in order to track predators, avoid prey, and, in this case, attract mates.

Have you ever been able to pick up on the sounds that a spider makes when mating, or searching for a mate?